Talent for teaching brings recognition

Perron Institute and University of Western Australia PhD candidate Leanne Jiang loves teaching neuroscience and science.

Her university undergraduate tutoring and mentoring skills have been recognised recently with a UWA Faculty of Science Teaching award: Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The awards are decided based on student and faculty nominations.

“In recent years, with support from the faculty, I’ve had a fantastic opportunity to shape my teaching style,” Leanne said. “My aim is to ensure students receive a great learning experience. It’s incredibly rewarding to see students learn and understand the content, rather than just remembering for an exam.”

Leanne won the UWA Guild Student Choice Teaching Award in 2017 and 2018 and is now in the running for a UWA teaching award across all faculties.

She is part of UWA’s BioZone PhD program and the ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies which uses a transdisciplinary approach to biomedical research to solve complex challenges, leading to improved patient care. For her PhD, she is investigating how genetic variants on mitochondrial proteins may affect energy homeostasis and affect disease risk for motor neurone disease.

Leanne is studying as part of the Perron Institute’s MND Genetics and Therapeutics research group. In January, she was appointed as a Research Assistant for a pioneering study to identify factors that affect quality of life for people with degenerative neurological disorders such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

“I’m grateful to be involved in translational research for motor neurone disease patients, taking findings from the clinic to the lab, and back to the clinic again,” Leanne said.

“I’m passionate about novel research, early intervention, and patient care. I hope to contribute significantly during my PhD, and extend my research to collaborate with leading scientists nationally and internationally in the future.”

Motor Neurone Disease Awareness Week starts Sunday 3 May and ends Saturday 9 May 2020. See what is happening in your local area to support your local organisations and increase awareness.

Pictured: Leanne Jiang, Perron Institute lab